WST NYACK, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Members of Rockland County’s Jewish community gathered together Monday night in unity and prayer, following a brutal machete attack inside a rabbi’s home this weekend.
The event, hosted by the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County will be held at the JCC Rockland in West Nyack with the goal to unite the community against anti-Semitism.
“The whole idea here is to spread hope. Hope that maybe from something like this – a tragic event like this – we can move on and bring the community closer together and work together to make sure things like this don’t happen in the future,” says Rich Levin, who heads the Community Relations Council.
Levin says one focus needs to be education about the consequences of hate speech, especially on social media.
Already, Brooklyn leaders have announced that they will be launching a new initiative to explain different cultures and hate symbols to children in the borough.
Meanwhile, a private security firm has stepped up to volunteer guards at synagogues in Rockland County in wake of the attack.
The family of the man accused in Saturday’s attack said Sunday that he had no history of anti-Semitism but was mentally ill.
He has since been charged with a federal hate crime along with five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary.